Faye Rapoport DesPres

Some nice news, and is there any point to “NaNoWriMo?”

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.13.02 PMI realize I haven’t been writing significant blog posts for a while, but life has been a bit overwhelming this summer. At the same time, I’m rarely too busy to at least stop in to share some publication news.

My short story, “Who Let the Cats Out?” has been accepted as a re-print in a forthcoming anthology from Prairie Rose Publications/Fire Star Press titled NINE DEADLY LIVES. The anthology will feature mystery stories that have a cat, or cats, at the center of the tale.

“Who Let the Cats Out?” originally appeared in MYSTERY TIMES TEN 2013 after winning third place out of more than 200 entries in a blind contest sponsored by independent press Buddhapuss Ink. It’s wonderful to know that this little story will have new life in a fun new anthology.

Some background information about this piece might be of interest to anyone who has wondered if it is worth it to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the marathon novel-writing exercise that takes place every November. To “win” at NaNoWriMo, you have to produce a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. Many people have criticized the exercise, noting that the quality of the writing isn’t considered important–it’s all about the word count.

In my case, NaNoWriMo proved to be a worthy effort. For one thing, when I took part in NaNoWriMo a few years ago (I’ve only done it once), I wrote daily. The event also freed me to not care so much about quality, which is important when you are trying to simply brainstorm and get a first draft out on paper. I often get blocked by that inner editor who is watching every sentence I write and deeming it inferior…during NaNoWriMo I was able to silence that voice and just let the words and the ideas flow for fun. When you do that, you often end up with a text that is a first step toward something that will eventually be better and more polished. In my case, I took the basic ideas behind those 50,000 words, along with several of the characters I’d created, and developed a short story. That’s how “Who Let the Cats Out?” was born. NaNoWriMo provided me with all of the character development and backstory work that I needed to set up my story.

I look forward to seeing the story in this great new anthology. I’ll let you know when there’s a link available.

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